BEIJING: Shifting mindsets among mature Chinese consumers have uncovered huge spending potential, spurred by the rapid growth in the country’s economy. Chinese seniors now have the luxury to think about themselves and explore opportunities closed to them in their youth, a new report finds.

This is according to OMD China’s Rhythm Series report, the third instalment of which explored the senior market. The study, comprised of quantitative and qualitative research from the China National Resident Survey, BAT data, and other industry reports, shows that with improving standards of living, and no children to care for, seniors’ time and money is now their own, Marketing Interactive reported.

Due to a firm savings culture, 88% of seniors in China have a pension. “This means that most elderly Chinese have a regular basic income and they are more than willing to spend that money,” said Yuki Xi, business intelligence director, OMD China.

“This is an entirely different picture from a few years ago when the elderly were more used to saving money instead of spending it.”

Among the trends highlighted in the report, low prices are no longer the main draw towards a product. Instead, the greater disposable income has placed quality as the main differentiator among products.

Elsewhere, helpfulness from the brand and convenience for the customer are key points of attraction. The study found that brand images pushing their “understanding” and helpfulness were the most successful.

The Chinese over-60 market is growing at a rapid rate, with growth forecast to continue till around 2060, according to Statista. In the short term, the over-60 population is estimated to reach 17.5% of the total population by 2020.

A report from Boston Consulting Group earlier this year noted older generations’ new and increased likelihood to travel to new destinations in retirement, with grey consumers’ spend on travel growing 22% from 2012 through 2015.

Data sourced from Marketing Interactive, Statista, Boston Consulting Group; additional content by WARC staff